Why you need adequate sleep to perform:
According to a study when you sleep your brain removes toxic proteins from its neurons that are by-products of neural activity when youâ€™re awake. Unfortunately, your brain can remove them adequately only while youâ€™re asleep. So when you donâ€™t get enough sleep, the toxic proteins remain in your brain cells, wreaking havoc by impairing your ability to think.
What sleep deprivation does to your health
Sleep deprivation is linked to a variety of serious health problems, including heart attack, stroke, type two diabetes, and obesity. It stresses you out because your body overproduces the stress hormone cortisol when itâ€™s sleep deprived. While excess cortisol has a host of negative health effects that come from the havoc it wreaks on your immune system and it also makes you look older.
How much sleep is enough?
Most people need seven to nine hours of sleep a night to feel sufficiently rested. Few people are at their best with less than seven hours, and few require more than nine without an underlying health condition.
Some simple tips to overcome the issue of sleep deprivation:
1. Stop drinking caffeine (at least after lunch)
You can sleep more and vastly improve the quality of the sleep by reducing your caffeine intake. Caffeine is a powerful stimulant that interferes with sleep by increasing adrenaline production and blocking sleep-inducing chemicals in the brain. Caffeine has a six-hour half-life, which means it takes a full 24 hours to work its way out of your system.
2. Avoid bright light at night (especially Blue)
Rather than using your phone, computer, electronics or watching TV, do something calmer that doesnâ€™t involve exposure to â€œblue lightâ€. The bright screens on electronics can lead to alertness due to changes in your eyes and brain. It can also sometimes cause headaches. Try instead to read a fiction book or something that is inspiring or about spiritual growth.
3. Create a â€œBedtime Routineâ€
Your body craves a schedule and predictable routine. So ideally you will go to bed at roughly the same time every night and wake up close to the same time in the morning. Try to keep your bedroom very dark and also a bit colder than the rest of your house
4. Learn to meditate
Many people who learn to meditate report that it improves the quality of their sleep and that they can get the rest they need even if they arenâ€™t able to significantly increase the number of hours they sleep.
5. Adjust Your Diet
Foods that can aid in helping you to fall asleep include: veggies, grass-fed beef, flaxseeds, chia seeds, wild-caught salmon, raw dairy and whole grains. Try not to eat foods high in simple carbohydrates or sugar after dinner. f you need a snack after dinner, make one with foods that will help stabilize your blood sugar rather than spike it.